SS Kushida: A Cold Warmth

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I laid down on the bed and let out a deep exhale.

Within the guest room I shared with three of the other Class E girls, I stared up into the dark void that enveloped the room.

Contrary to the others, I was unable to sleep. My mind was swarmed with thoughts.

My life at the Tokyo Metropolitan Advanced Nurturing High School.

The friends I'd made, the fake relationships I'd forged with those around me.

The frustrations and hardships I'd endured during my week on an island.

But most of all,

The enigmatic boy with brown hair and eyes colder than the iciest winters.

Ayanokōji Kiyotaka.

I hate him.

I absolutely hate him.

He'd captured me using my weakness and forced me into submission, enslaving me to carrying out his every whim. I was powerless.

I fucking despise Ayanokōji Kiyotaka.

That being said, perhaps, it isn't all bad.

Ayanokōji-kun had told me that he would protect me, and swore to assist me going forward.

At first, I just thought he was pitifully trying to reassure me with empty promises, however...

Earlier today, I'd gotten a glimpse into the mind of the terrifyingly cold existence known as Ayanokōji Kiyotaka.

It was frightening in a different way to when I encountered him on that rooftop.

His mind, his thought process. The way he takes everything into account, and doesn't miss a single detail. Just knowing that there's an individual like that is scary.

But this person claimed to be on my side. That he intended to help me.

With his ability, it would very well be possible for him to aid me. Knowing that somebody like him is supporting me would be reassuring indeed.

I could use him.

No, that's not it, is it?

It's the other way around – Ayanokōji-kun is using me. There's no way that someone like me could ever make him my pawn.

He reassures me with promises of protection and words of 'trust,' but, in the end, it's all just to make me a better tool for him, isn't it?

It's like sharpening a blade. If he can make me trust him, it'll turn me into a more powerful weapon for him.

He doesn't care about me at all.

There were some similarities between Ayanokōji-kun and I. It was strange. Sometimes, when I looked at him, it was like looking in a mirror.

Both of us go about our lives pretending to be someone other than our true selves.

We both possess a hidden side that is cold and twisted in nature, that nobody else sees.

Oddly, for some reason, I also got the impression that Ayanokōji-kun didn't view anybody as a true ally. Just like me.

And I was the only one that knew this. Not Yagami-kun. Not Sora-kun. Not Lelouch-kun. Me.

Perhaps, even if he is just using me, if this cold boy stays true to his word and backs me to the full extent of his ability in the future, it could bring an unfamiliar warmth to my life.

Yes. I could live with that.

A/N: This is the first of 4 short stories I have planned.

The purpose of these is to provide little insights or developments that wouldn't fit neatly in a main chapter.

I intend to release the next ones quickly, daily at minimum and likely multiple per day. Then, I'll start working on the main chapters again within a couple days.

My plan is to include 1, maybe 2 chapters of 5k-6k length that are Slice of Life before I start on v4. I want to have the characters interact normally a bit, after all.

As a result, I'll probably start v4 somewhere around next weekend. Until then, though, thanks for reading <3

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